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Discussion Starter #1
I may purchase a car today or tomorrow, and I've got two contenders.

2012 Rav4 Limited V6 AWD with 54,000 miles listed at $21,600

or

2016 Mazda CX-5 FWD with 45,000 miles listed at $20,000

Both cars would be fairly priced at between $18,000 - $19,000 or so.

Here's my question, is an older Rav4 really worth as much as a 1 year old CX-5? Being an older body style, would the newer car be safer...thinking about small overlap testing that wasn't done back when the 2012 Rav4 came out. The Rav4 is loaded to the 9s (leather, backup camera (in the rear view mirror, v6, AWD, etc.), , but still seems highly priced for the mileage and everything. The Mazda is a base Touring model, no upgrades over standard. The Rav4 when new would have MSRPed at $28k, the CX-5 at $26k.

Carfax is clean on both cars and they are in comparable condition. I posted a similar question on the CX-5 forum and they are all saying Toyotas have transmission issues and a newer car is better. I'd like to hear what the Toyota folks have to say about that.

Thanks, trying to decide soon, so feedback today would be great.
 

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No advice on the prices except they both seem high. But then it takes me a month to find what I want at a price I'm willing to pay.
If you value a very nice response from the pedal on the right you can't beat the V6 RAV4, and 2012 was the last year for it. I've been here since I bought ours used and have had zero transmission issues. The only ones we've heard of was a whine in some of the earlier 4.3s, say 2006-08, but nothing on the later years. Mines just fine at 123K miles.

I recommend my engine & transmission test - on an open road mash the right pedal to the floor and let her rip thru the gears up to 80 or so. If all goes smooth and you smile the RAV4 is for you. If you back off early buy something lesser.
I know nothing about that other car but others here probably do.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No advice on the prices except they both seem high. But then it takes me a month to find what I want at a price I'm willing to pay.
If you value a very nice response from the pedal on the right you can't beat the V6 RAV4, and 2012 was the last year for it. I've been here since I bought ours used and have had zero transmission issues. The only ones we've heard of was a whine in some of the earlier 4.3s, say 2006-08, but nothing on the later years. Mines just fine at 123K miles.

I recommend my engine & transmission test - on an open road mash the right pedal to the floor and let her rip thru the gears up to 80 or so. If all goes smooth and you smile the RAV4 is for you. If you back off early buy something lesser.
I know nothing about that other car but others here probably do.
Thanks of the tips. I did take the Rav4 on a test drive. I got it up to 55 and smashed the brake pedal to see how it did. Stopped pretty good, just a little wiggle, but we were on a wet country road (it had rained the night before). Didn't push the limit, but merging onto the highway was smooth and fast!
 

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... but we were on a wet country road (it had rained the night before). Didn't push the limit, but merging onto the highway was smooth and fast!
If the 4WD is working properly it'll scoot the same on wet or dry pavement. My goal on my test drives is to make anyone who rides with me wish they hadn't! :wink
 

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Generally, I echo Dr. Dyno's comments and observations. Both vehicles are quite capable rides. But given the RAV's V6 engine and being "loaded" it may well be more satisfying overall, and if you plan to travel in the Sierra the RAV's AWD would useful in winter and the V6 makes for easy grade climbing.. I have had zero problems with my V6 AWD RAV and do quite a lot of mountain driving. The V6 power is handy in passing maneuvers, and on the highway it conveys a very relaxed feeling.
 

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The 3.5l V-6 outweighs the Mazda's 2.5l four cylinder by a massive amount. To me there is no comparison. The Mazda will handle better but the RAV has the moxie when needed. Both get very similar mileage. I would not even consider the Mazda personally.
 

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Carfax is clean on both cars and they are in comparable condition. I posted a similar question on the CX-5 forum and they are all saying Toyotas have transmission issues and a newer car is better. I'd like to hear what the Toyota folks have to say about that.
The transmission has a whine in the V6 models. It is a noise issue and may occur in some but not every V6 5 speed model. It is not that the transmission will break down in the future but will can be annoying during city (20-35 mph) driving if you listen carefully. The solution is to replace the transmission if you want the problem fixed.
 

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The 3.5l V-6 outweighs the Mazda's 2.5l four cylinder by a massive amount. To me there is no comparison. The Mazda will handle better but the RAV has the moxie when needed. Both get very similar mileage. I would not even consider the Mazda personally.
The V6 is in a league of its own. All V6 owners know the feeling when the other slower cars you pass are wondering why the RAV4 is so fast!:D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, after some negotiation on the 2012 Rav4 over the phone, the absolute best price they would do...end of the year, tonight only, need 1 more car to make the quota, price came in $600 lower for a price of $21,000 (plus taxes and fees). According to Cars.com and CarGuru that's the high end (they list the ranges between 18k and 21k) for a vehicle with those miles and configuration in that condition. I was surprised with the end of the month / end of the year push they would only come down that far, but it is what it is, and with a rare spec. like that one someone probably will pay that, just not me tonight.

Anyway, thanks for the input. Didn't work out on this one, but the search continues.
 

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They might call back with a better offer even yet.
 

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FYI, that RAV4 initially MSRPd at about $31K, not $28K. I know because I bought mine new off the lot in 2012.

My 2012 RAV4 V6 Limited 4WD has performed absolutely flawlessly since Day 1.

The Mazda is said to have very good steering feel and handling. Plus it's newer so may have some newer amenities and such. The RAV4 has higher reliability and resale value, vastly more horsepower and torque, more cargo capacity, much more towing capacity if it has the tow prep package (many do), large underfloor storage bin and a full-sized spare tire. Plus in this case the RAV4 has AWD as well.

From a functional perspective, the RAV4 V6 is hands down the winner in my book.

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FYI, that RAV4 initially MSRPd at about $31K, not $28K. I know because I bought mine new off the lot in 2012.

My 2012 RAV4 V6 Limited 4WD has performed absolutely flawlessly since Day 1.

The Mazda is said to have very good steering feel and handling. Plus it's newer so may have some newer amenities and such. The RAV4 has higher reliability and resale value, vastly more horsepower and torque, more cargo capacity, much more towing capacity if it has the tow prep package (many do), large underfloor storage bin and a full-sized spare tire. Plus in this case the RAV4 has AWD as well.

From a functional perspective, the RAV4 V6 is hands down the winner in my book.

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Oh ok, thanks, Google must have failed me and not taken into account the various optional packages. Thanks!
 
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